The appeal process gives property owners the opportunity to exercise their due process by challenging their assessed value, not their property tax bill. The amount on your tax bill is determined by tax rates applied to your assessment by schools, parks, libraries, etc which is why the appeal process only applies to the assessed value. Once the tax bill is received, it is too late to make an appeal for that year's assessment.
More about assessments and taxes
The first person who a property owner should contact with questions and concerns is the assessor. The assessor has put in place a "Soft Appeal" process to assist constituents in appealing their assessment at the local level. If that year's books are still open, the assessor can correct the value. After the books have closed or if the property owner spoke with the assessor and still is not satisfied, a formal appeal may be filed. Please click here "Soft Appeal" if interested in filing a Soft Appeal. Or please go to the "Soft Appeals" tab located on the left hand side of the Home Page.
Basis of a Formal Appeal
A formal appeal may be filed based on any of the following claims:
The assessor's market value is higher than actual market value. This claim can be supported if the property has recently been purchased on the open market through an arms length transaction or if a professional appraisal for ad valorem purposes, not a re-finance apparaisal, stating the value as of January 1st of the assessment year is supplied.
Note: It is important that the homeowner receives an ad valorem appraisal as opposed to a re-finance appraisal because re-finance appraisals often undervalue the property.
The assessed value is at a higher percentage of market value for the property than the prevailing township or county median level, as shown in an assessment/sales ratio study, after equalization factor has been applied.
Note: The State assigns a value to each Township. The Assesor then must assess the homes in the Township so that the total value of all of the homes in the Township equals the value that the State assigned. If the total value is greater than or less than the assigned value the State adjusts each assessment accordingly. The equalization factor happens when the state applies the adjustments.
The Steps in the Formal Appeal Process
Determine the fair market value for the property.
Determine the prevailing assessment level in the jurisdiction.
Obtain the assessed valuation of the property.
Discuss the assessment with the assessor.
Determine the basis for the formal complaint.
File a written complaint with the board of review.
Present evidence of unfair assessment at the hearing to the board of review. If a property owner is dissatisfied with the board's decision, the owner can appeal the decision to the State Property Tax Appeal Board, in writing, or file a tax objection complaint in circuit court.
Property owners must provide substantial evidence that their assessment is unfair. To obtain evidence visit the web site of the local assessor or the supervisor of assessments, visit the local assessor's office, or hire a professional appraiser.
Pertinent evidence for non-farm property should include some or all of the following:
Only Property Record Cards provided by the Assessors office will be accepted by the Board of Review. The Board of Review Rules (4B) state that website versions are not acceptable. You may submit your request for PRC copies by completing Form Request for PRC (see link above) and returning it to the Assessor's office either by fax, e-mail, or in person.
- A copy of file property record card (PRC) - Form Request For PRC 2013.pdf
- A photograph for the property under appeal.
- A copy of Form PTAX-203(Real Estate Transfer Declaration), a deed, or a contract for purchase.
- An appraisal of the property.
- A list of recent sales of comparable properties, including photographs, PRCs, and evidence of the sale prices.
- A photograph of elements detracting from the value of the property not shown on the PRC and an estimate, in terms of dollars, of their negative effect on the market value.
- A copy of PRCs and photographs of similar or neighboring properties.
A written agreement must be reached between the department and the assessing official making the request. The agreement must specify all of the project details.
The department provides information regarding:
Role of Board of Review
comparable sales data,
the Illinois Real Properly Appraisal Manual (IRPAM)
coal and mineral assessments, and
the assessment of pollution-control facilities and railroad operating property, which is state-assessed property
Section 16-55 of the Property Tax Code states "On written complaint that any property is over-assessed or under-assessed, the board shall review the assessment, and correct it, as appears to be just, but in no case shall the property be assessed at a higher percentage of fair cash value than other property in the assessment district prior to equalization by the board or the department.
Reviewing assessment complaints is perhaps the most important function performed by the board during its session. Through equity of assessments, a great deal of time, energy, and resources is required to ensure that a fair sharing of the tax burden is achieved throughout the jurisdiction.